For the northern hemisphere, spring is almost here! And there are many celebrations across a variety of traditions where witches will celebrate and observe the change of the seasons. For those who don’t know, the spring equinox is a time on Earth when the subsolar point appears to leave the Southern Hemisphere and cross the celestial equator, heading north. It occurs at the moment the sun enters Aries in March in the Northern Hemisphere, and it may be celebrated in September in the Southern Hemisphere around the 21st of the month. It is usually marked as the first day of spring in a standard calendar.
Many Wiccans celebrate this time of year with their own holiday known as Ostara (O-STAHR-UH). And to many beginners, this is the top search result when you start doing some research on annual holidays for witches. Ostara is a religious celebration specific to those who follow a Wiccan tradition, and not all witches observe pagan traditions or beliefs. They may be of an entirely different religion, prefer to be a secular witch, or are completely atheistic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Here are just a few secular ways for a witch of any background to celebrate.
Call it What Makes You Comfortable
There are many names for the Spring Equinox. And no matter what opinions you may hear, just know that it is completely based on their personal beliefs and tradition. And there is no wrong name for it. And it’s okay to use another name that better aligns with your beliefs and practices.
A little more background on the name Ostara. The term “Ostara” has a few different meanings and connotations depending on where you read. And a lot of the info is pretty obscure, and origins depend on the historian. In folklore, a germanic goddess named Ēostre has been referenced and associated with the season of spring. She was written to be a goddess of renewal, rebirth from the death of winter. This goddess appears to have connections to Christianity, with translations of her name being connected to Easter. And additionally, her name has connections to the Wiccan holiday. So it’s a bit all over the place.
Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Ostara every year, and many cultures around the world celebrate the spring equinox as well. Such as the festival of No Ruz or “New Day” in Iran, marked as a time of hope and rebirth. And Passover, one of Judaism’s biggest festivals commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt over centuries of slavery. Voodoo practitioners have a handful of feasts they celebrate around this time of year as well. There is no shortage of celebrations! These are only a few examples, and these are celebrations for witches and non-witches alike. And that is the big thing to remember here. The spring equinox is a time of rebirth, remembrance, and renewal for many cultures. So whatever your religious background, there is a celebration for you. Simply call it Spring Equinox, and you’re on the right track regardless.
Celebrate Nature Changing and Observe Your Surroundings
Spring is a time when the planet is changing its position and the changing of seasons. Super simple! So you don’t need a ritual or a coven or a prayer to experience this wonderful change. No matter what side of the world you are on, observe your surroundings and appreciate them. The blooming of flowers and the cool breeze, or the crunch of leaves and snow. Also think of this time of changing and rebirth of the seasons as a time to observe your life around you. Is there something that isn’t working in your life? Do things feel cluttered and chaotic? Spend some time to think about what you might need to let go so you can start off on the right foot. For the herbalists out there: jasmin, ginger, snowdrops, and wildflowers are great additions to a smoke cleansing or tea. Also some stones to use during this time are clear quartz, rose quartz, agate, garnet, and amazonite.
Cook Some Comforting Food.
Who doesn’t love food? Food is a very personal experience, and so is witchcraft. So there may be a dish that your coven makes during this time like bread or eggs. Or you and your friends may want to enjoy some cakes and pumpkin bread. Or your grandmother uses amazing greens and vegetables to create a beautiful earthy spread. No matter the faith or tradition, food can be a way to bring people together and also add some joy to your celebrations.
Simple Witchy Activities
Maybe you’re just looking for a small thing to do for yourself or with your fellow witches to celebrate the season and also utilize the energies that are present in our universe. Here are a few quick things you can do:
- Magickal spells or rituals focusing on prosperity and abundance
- Playing music as a form of meditation
- Burning incense and performing smoke cleansings focused on renewal
- Using natural bodies of water like a spring or the ocean to cleanse your tools and also yourself
The spring equinox is a beautiful transition. Our cosmos are moving and our physical surroundings are changing. So it’s a perfect time to reflect and focus on what can change within you as well. And that’s a lesson for any witch of any background.
Enjoy your celebrations!